A prolific criminal has been jailed for nine years after bursting into a 90-year-old woman’s home and squirting her with a hot chilli sauce mix.
Mohammed Nawaz barged his way into the pensioner’s property in the Hall Green area of Birmingham on August 26, West Midlands Police said.
The 52-year-old, who has 36 previous convictions for burglary, robbery and theft, targeted his victim because he believed she was home alone.
But the pensioner’s son was visiting at the time Nawaz barged in and he confronted the robber.
The force said the defendant squirted the hot chilli sauce and water mix from a washing up liquid bottle at both victims – temporarily blinding the 49-year-old son – before running off empty-handed.
A member of the public was also targeted with the substance after grabbing Nawaz in the street.
Others managed to pin the intruder down until police were able to arrest him on suspicion of attempted burglary.
Officers charged Nawaz with the offence, as well as three counts of administering a noxious substance.
He was jailed for nine years and one month at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday after admitting all charges.
Police said Nawaz was also jailed for a similar offence in 2010 when he broke into a 93-year-old’s home in Sparkhill and squirted a substance in their face before stealing items.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Arita Chonkria said: “We believe Nawaz saw the woman as an easy target, someone he could deceive or quickly steal from, but he hadn’t counted on her son being in the house.
“This was a shocking ordeal for the woman and her son but thankfully neither were seriously hurt. And I hope they can take comfort from the fact the offender has been jailed for several years.
“I also want to thank the man who tackled Nawaz as he tried running off. It’s really appreciated – thank-you and we’ll be looking to formally recognise his efforts when our force awards scheme gets back up and running post-Covid.”